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Denying Anton Skyba accreditation hampers our ability to cover the war – The Globe and Mail

08.06.2023, 15:21

The Canadian "Globe and Mail" writes that denying their journalist Anton Skyba accreditation hampers the publication's ability to cover the war.

The Ukrainian government has failed to renew the media accreditation for Anton Skyba, a photojournalist who has worked with The Globe and Mail since 2014, after it expired. This was reported on the Canadian media outlet's website.

According to The Globe and Mail, the Ukrainian security services have demanded a lie-detector test, accusing the reporter of holding a Russian passport and questioning whether his work is aligned with the country’s “national interests.” Anton Skyba, who has worked as a photographer, translator and fellow reporter alongside a half-dozen Globe journalists in Ukraine, was a National Newspaper Award finalist this year for his coverage of Russia's crimes in Ukraine.

In a comment to IMI, Anton Skyba noted that he did not consider this an act of pressure targeting him personally, but believed that this situation was part of a broader credentials issue.

"I believe that my case is a side effect of the accreditation processes that are currently happening in Ukraine. The SBU is having issues with me because my parents are in the occupied territory – for them this is a reason to believe that my work may be compromised and I may be vulnerable. This is reminiscent of the Soviet punitive practices, where after World War II you had to prove that your family, which had been under occupation, had no ties to the enemy. It also seems to me that this is part of the discrimination that IDPs from the east have been facing since 2014. As a Ukrainian who works for foreign media, for me this situation is an absolute shame because of this prevailing ignorance regarding mass media's impact in the Western world," said Anton Skyba.

According to him, the SBU said he had to pass a lie detector test for them to consider renewing his accreditation. "I have not heard of anyone being invited to take a lie detector test, but journalists are frequently invited to so-called interviews at the SBU, with special attention being paid to journalists who had beein working in 2014–2015 or have worked in temporarily occupied Crimea, they pay attention to such people," said Anton Skyba.

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